HOW MICHELLE WORTH’S NEW LINE HONORS ONE OF INDONESIA’S MOST LEGENDARY BLOSSOMS

BY HUNT ETHRIDG

In the passages of Indonesian folklore, there was the legendary kingdom of Umbul Wening, whose monarch had a famously beautiful daughter named Dewi Arum. She was given, it’s written, to swimming for untold hours in the monarch’s pond, to the neglect of her royal duties (at least according to her parents). When the kingdom was struck by a strange illness, it was, in the end, Arum and her knowledge of the medicinal flowers in the pond, notably the lotus, that saved Umbul Wening’s people and the future of what is now a sprawling, stunningly beautiful Southeast Asian nation of volcanic islands and blazing diversity of ethnic groups.

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An upper tier and ready to wear Indonesia based brand from creative director Michelle Worth, Lotuz, like its flower namesake, had healing powers for its founder. Worth grew up in Singapore and Jakarta (though she’s of Chinese heritage), but long felt the pull of the West. Surrounded by Indonesian art and artists, and connected to her heritage through traditions, legends, and myths, her goal was to combine Western and Eastern selves. Her at once artistic and savvy marketing response consisted of Lotuz collections that sport whimsical, evocative, and feminine names like Forbidden Garden, Pomona, La Rose, Eva, and Luci made with a functional and luxurious mindset and dedicated to an international market.

Most of Worth’s lines are also designed for a time duality in her case day to night. She specializes in statement pieces that can be dressed down or up with ease, including neoprene bodysuits, crepe shirt dresses, trousers, jumpsuits, peplum skirts, and blazer baroque motifs, to sultry bustiers and nuanced bralettes, with many of the pieces designed to be layered or otherwise combined with each another.

This past October, and for the first time, Lotuz was invited to show at the Los Angeles Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2018. Knowing this, Worth revealed that she decided to create a collection “more bold than ever before.” Entitled Scarlett, the line is inspired by watching her daughter (of the same name) grow up to be “an independent, feminine, bold, but polite woman.”

In just the past year, response has been remarkable, including a celebrity fan base that numbers Grammy winner Estelle, actress Malin Akerman, Fifth Harmony’s Normani and American Idol winner Fantasia among its members. The rest of us can pick up the lines at stores in Boca Raton, LA, or online at maison.com.

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